Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack., Malay. Misc. 1: 31. 1820. Chalcas paniculata L., Mant. Pl. 68. 1767. Murraya exotica L., Mant. Pl. Alt. 563. 1771 ('Murraea'); Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 502. 1875.

Beng.: Kamini; Hindi: Kamini, Marchla; Kan.: Angarakanagida, Pandry; Mal.: Kattumulla; Mar.: Pandari, Kunt; Or.: Banmallika, Harkankali; Tam.: Konji; Tel.: Naga golunga.

Shrubs or small trees up to 10 m high; branchlets slender, cylindric, puberulent to glabrous; bark pale, lenticellate. Leaves up to 20 cm long; petioles and rachises slender: cylindric or angular, puberulent or glabrous; leaflets alternate, 3- or 5- or sometimes 7- or very rarely 1-foliolate, varying in size and outline, usually 3.5 - 8 x 2 - 3.5 cm or in smaller forms 1 - 3.5 x 0.5 - 1.5 cm, dark green and glossy above, chartaceous to coriaceous, glabrous or minutely puberulous along the midrib at above and beneath, ovate, ovate-elliptic, oblong-elliptic to obovate, cuneate and oblique at base, obtuse to caudate-acuminate often notched at apex, entire to obscurely and irregularly crenulate along margins; petiolules short, ca 5 mm long, puberulent to glabrous; secondary nerves 4 - 7 pairs, slender arising at angles 50 - 55° with the midrib, prominent on both surfaces, distinctly reticulate. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, few-flowered panicles. Flowers medium to large, up to 15 mm long. Pedicels slender, up to 10 mm long, glandular, glabrous. Calyx lobes 5, small, 0.5 - 1 mm long, deltate, acute, glandular, glabrous. Petals 5, oblong-elliptic or obovate, narrowed at base, acute or obtuse at apex, 12 - 15 x 3 - 4 mm, white, glandular, glabrous. Stamens 10; filaments subulate above, dialated below, 5 - 10 mm long, white, glabrous; anthers ellipsoid-oblong, ca 1 mm long, yellowish. Disk annular, lobulate, ca 1 mm high, ca 1.5 mm broad, glabrous. Ovary ovoid-ellipsoid, entire, 2 - 3 mm long, greenish, glabrous, 2- or 3-locular, each locule with one ovule; style cylindric, 4 - 8 mm long, glabrous; stigma capitate, 2 - 3-lobed, broader than the style, glandular. Berry ovoid-ellipsoid, ca 2 cm long with a tapering end, reddish when ripe, glandular-punctate, glabrous; seeds 1 or 2, ellipsoid, ca 1 cm long; seed coat pale brownish, hairy.

Fl. Feb. -April; Fr. June-July.

Distrib. India: Evergreen or moist deciduous forests at an altitude up to 2100 m. Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, W. Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Also cultivated frequently in gardens throughout the country.

Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Indochina, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, New Caledonia, Melanesian Islands, Mauritius, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Notes. The plants are esteemed as handsome garden objects in many tropical and subtropical countries. The wood is hard and close grained and is considered a substitute for box-wood. Leaves are medicinal and used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. They yield an essential oil. Flowers are esteemed in cosmetics. They yield a glucoside, 'Murrayin'.

Murraya panicuata is considered here as a very variable species with many different forms varying in their growth habit, size and shape of leaflets, number and size of flowers, exomorphology of fruits etc. Two forms of this species are common in India, both in wild and gardens. The one which is more frequently found in cultivation is a bushy shrub with smaller, obovate, obtuse or obtusely acuminate leaflets; many flowered (3 - to 6) inflorescence, and slightly acuminoid berries. The second form which is truely wild but now being cultivated is a shrub or tree with slightly larger, ovate or oblong-elliptic, acuminate or caudate leaflets; few (3- or 4-) flowered inflorescence, and acuminoid fruits. However, the frequent occurrence of intermediates in the wild as well as gardens makes it impossible to recognise them as distinct taxonomic entities. Huang's (in Acta Phytotax. Sinica 8: 100. 1959) and Stone's (in Dassan. & Fosb. (eds.), Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 5: 460. 1985) treatments of the smaller (cultivated) forms of this species as Murraya paniculata var. exotica (L.) Huang and M. exotica L. respectively, seem therefore untenable.


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